Dance ornament

oceania | New Ireland

Dance ornament

New Ireland

Vatlam hornbill figure
Mouth ornament for Malagan rituals
Northern New Ireland

Carved wood, shell and pigments
Second part of the 19th century
Height: 5 ½ in. (14 cm)
Length: 15 ¼ in. (39 cm)

Provenances
Ex collection American Museum of Natural History, New York.
Purchased in 1891 from Appleton Sturgis, “but had been on deposit in the museum since approximately 1880”
Museum accession number S-2245
Ex collection Bernard Brown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1965
Ex collection Irene Beard, London
Ex collection Michael Hamson, Palos Verdes, California

Published in: Michael Hamson, Oceanic Art, Paris, 2014, n° 24, pages 52/3

New Ireland Dance ornament / American Museum of Natural History / Galerie Flak Price on request
This bird figure (hornbill) is a dance ornament that was held between the teeth by a dancer or sometimes placed in the mouth of a mask during the ritual ceremonies of the Malangan (Malagan).

Documentation

Malagan dancers with mouth ornaments

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